A rival bid for the hotels owned by jailed Indian businessman Subrata Roy has been submitted by a consortium of Saudi and UK family wealth funds, rivalling a bid from Qatar for a portion of Sahara's hospitality empire.
Qatar Investment Authority was reported earlier this month to be in discussions over a deal for London’s Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, for an estimated $337 million.
Reports in UK media, however, have said that a consortium comprising a Saudi family that runs a private wealth fund in Dubai and UK family office 3 Associates have lodged a $1.3bn bid for Grosvenor House Hotel plus majority stakes in New York’s Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels from Sahara’s India Pariwar group.
Given the existing offer from Qatar, the new bid from the Saudi-UK consortium could spark a bidding war between the two parties for the assets.
The UK media reports say the rival bid was submitted following the weakened value of sterling following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
"Because of the currency fluctuation we felt this was the right time to move on these assets,” Jesdev Saggar, managing director of 3 Associates, told the Telegraph.
"With all the uncertainty in the commercial property market since the vote, it's important that we don't lose sight of opportunities in London with regards to where the dollar is. Evidently we have selfish reasons for owning these assets, but it's important that the market understands that there is a tremendous amount of confidence in the London market."
Once regarded as one of India’s most powerful men, Sahara chairman Subrata Roy is currently in jail as the group battles to pay back an estimated 30 million investors.
Sahara is attempting to sell off a number of assets - including the Sahara Star hotel in Mumbai, its 42 percent stake in F1 team Force India and four aircraft – as it seeks to pay off its creditors.
Roy, released on bail since May, will return to custody in August if fails to lodge a bail fee of $1.5bn.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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